In 1932, nine days after his inauguration, President Roosevelt signed an order authorizing the sale of beer. It would soon be followed by the 21st amendment: the full repeal of Prohibition.
In the 1920s, Americans blatantly ignore Prohibition, while gangsters and small-time bootleggers use it as an excuse to build a gigantic underground industry. Up until this point, the federal role in crime prevention barely existed, but new president Herbert Hoover marshals the power of the state against it and Al Capone, the nation's most famous outlaw. Witness their epic battle, which reshaped American law enforcement as we know it, and see how changing attitudes and a national crisis finally brought an end to the ban on liquor.
Now, you can watch Smithsonian Channel's incredible documentaries and shows anytime you want by purchasing from any of these distributors:
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.